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Princess Power


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  • Princess Power

    Soooo... just a thought rumbling in my head. In cruising the various "Eisner is Evil" sites, one common thread I've been seeing repeatedly is the statement, "And enough with the princesses!"

    I was thinking about this exhaustion of the market... and then thinking about the fact there hasn't been a classic "princess" cartoon since "Beauty and the Beast". Okay, so there was a princess in "Aladdin". I'll let you count that... "Pocahantas" doesn't count. You have to have a ball gown and/or a crown to count.

    But basically, there has not been a princess film since 1992. That's over thirteen years ago. This insane marketing to youngsters are for films that were made before they were born. There has not been a cartoon that focuses on the most beautiful beauty an artist can create, a film that explores the feminine side of the human psyche, in over a decade. Instead, we have had "Brother Bear", "Treasure Plant", "Hercules", "Home on the Range", "The Emperors New Groove", "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"...

    And, don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed ALL of those films (except for "Brother Bear"... I mean, come on. How many dying family members can you squeeze into a cartoon before it just stops begin fun anymore...) and own most of them. But they have not done well in the marketplace.

    In going forward, I wonder if perhaps abandoning this side of humanity is one of the causes of Disney's 2-D animation downfall. The market is obviously there. Little girls still continue to gobble up merchandise for cartoons made as far back as seventy years ago. Perhaps the problem is that there are not ENOUGH princess films. I feel like Disney animation abandoned this idea of "fantasy" for "clever" and "smart". Perhaps there were not enough cartoons that focused on the biggest dreams that a person could have and then watching them come true.

    Just a thought...

  • #2
    Interesting observation, Schmoogie. I for one am a big fan of the princess movies, especially the return of them in the late 1980's. You could say that not only the princesses have come and gone, but the musicals as well. I must say, that this combination was one of Disney's classic mold, but perhaps that mold was either too un-pc (what ever that means for annimation), or simply not the "in" thing to do now a days. Very unfortunate, I think.

    Actually, now that i think about it, I miss the music over the princess stories. Don't get me wrong..i LOVE a good mushy love story, but it's nothing without a good music score. Remember, Disney scores won Best Song in most of the acadamy awards. I think the major downfall to annimation is the music...not necessarily the princesses...however you are right. Look at all this little girls dressed up in gowns and tiaras running around disneyland.
    Marge: Barnacle Bill's Home Pregnancy Test? Homer, shouldn't we have gone with a better-known brand?
    Homer: But Marge, this one came with a corn-cob pipe!
    Marge: [reading from the test box] "Ahoy, Maties! If the water turns blue, a baby for you! If purple ye see, no baby thar be!"
    Homer: So, which is it? Blue or purple?
    Marge: Pink.
    Homer: D'oh!
    Marge: "If ye test should fail, to a doctor set sail!"


    • #3
      Good observation! Maybe that is what gives those movies their timeless quality... You run around humming "Kiss the Girl" in your head for the rest of your life. I've hummed a few bars from "Tarzan", but that's not so much a good thing... "Hercules" is a winner for the the great music, otherwise, it would have been cute, but nothing special... I can't tell you a single song from a recent cartoon...

      By George, I think you may have something!

      Maybe it is the whole celebration of beauty that has been missing. Beauty in animation. Beauty in music. Beauty in loving relationships. Beauty in stories. Beauty in dreams. Even the villians are beautiful in their evilness. Night on Bald Mountain? Beautiful.

      I feel like Peter Pan has the celebration you find in "princess" films. Just that idea that the film's team has done their utmost best to squeeze the most gorgeous imaginative things they could possibly think of into your head in an hour and a half...

      Hmmm... more thoughts...
      Last edited by Schmoogie; 04-21-2005, 04:16 PM.


      • #4
        I agree with cuzco and you bring up some good points. Check out this thread as I think they have similar ideas:

        P.S.- I love seeing all the little princesses at the park! Like in Neph's profile pic- it is one of those little things I LOVE about Disneyland.
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        • #5
          My understanding is that the next big thing Eisner was going to release in this vein is Fairies...


          I am just picturing the photo op release in SF's Castro Street... Right now...

          Check out my other blog:


          • #6
            Originally posted by cellarhound
            My understanding is that the next big thing Eisner was going to release in this vein is Fairies...
            Yep, I just read somewhere that there's going to be a big push for Tinkerbell and her friends (LightMagic, anyone...) as a way to complement the princess craze. In my opinion, it's just another attempt to capitalize on a current property so as not to have to use any imagination to come up with something new and original.

            I, too, love the princess movies. I think though that after Beauty and the Beast, Disney realized that they had the little girl market wrapped up and decided to try to tap into the little boy market. This has been relatively unsuccessful. I'm not sure why. Aladdin, Hercules, Hunchback, Tarzan, Brother Bear, Treasure Planet, these were all movies marketed to boys more than girls. And we had Pocahontas and Mulan which both featured strong female leads (although not princesses) while maintaining a stong masculine feel. (And just for the record, I love Home On The Range, but for the life of me I can't figure out who the target audience for this film was supposed to be...)

            I'm not a big fan of The Disney Company's forced efforts to dominate the market with certain characters (princesses, Pooh & Friends, etc.) so I'm looking forward to the day when every shop at Disneyland DOESN"T feature princess and Pooh merchandise.

            However, I'd love for Disney to come out with an all new musical princess movie, something with fairies and magic and ballgowns. Maybe something original, not based on a classic Fairy Tale or story.

            And for goodness sake, Princess Aurora's dress was BLUE!!!!!!!!! Cinderella's dress was WHITE. If they could just get it right once...
            "George Bush... is only for now."
            Avenue Q

            Just because it's gone doesn't mean I changed my mind! :cwink:


            • #7
              The Tinkerbell & friends thing is a reality. I know becasue a friend of mine is working on the direct to video movie. It's a big mistake if you aks me. No matter if it makes a ton of money, it's another move made only for financial reasons.

              I agree that the beauty has been wanning in Disney animated features but it has more to do with corporate structure and attitude than a princess theme, that's just another symptom of the problem. Right now the pop attitude is too self-aware to accept a basic but honest love story. It would have to have an edge of some kind to get any producer to even look at it, much less consider it. I'd love to see more american-made animated stories that aren't trying so hard to be hip and relevant. But I"m not sure how many ohter people want films like that.

              When Disney does tackle another love story I'd love to see one from the guy's/prince's point of view. Aladdin did this very well, but why not try it again without all the contemporary humor and in jokes? It should be a much more straightforward love story in the mold of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Now that's something I'd very excited to see!
              What if the Hokey-Pokey really is what it's all about?


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